ESPN announced today that Chris Berman will not be hosting the 2017 Home Run Derby. In comes Karl Ravech, ESPN’s longtime “Baseball Tonight” host, to take over.
The move is part of Berman’s general scaling back of broadcast duties at ESPN, which was announced in January. ESPN’s release did not mention it, but it’s also worth noting that Berman tragically lost his wife in an automobile accident last month.
Whatever the impetus, the move is likely to be well received by viewers. Berman may be a sports broadcasting legend, but his “Back-back-back” calls and often cringeworthy references have long been a source of displeasure for those watching the Derby.
Here’s hoping Ravech doesn’t feel the need to introduce schtick into the proceedings.